The Chinese naval hospital ship "Peace Ark" arrives at Honiara Port in the Solomon Islands on Aug 19, 2023. (Photo by Gui Jiangbo/For chinadaily.com.cn)
The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands said that he was 'moved' by the generous aid from a Chinese naval hospital ship, which is currently visiting the southern Pacific island nation and providing free medical services to the local people.
"It's just overwhelming to experience coming on board, and to see our people receiving that kind of assistance is just moving," the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, told the Global Times during his time aboard the Chinese naval hospital ship, Peace Ark, on Sunday.
"From this visit, you can sense love and sympathy," Sogavare remarked, noting that the doctors and the ship have brought hope to many who might not have access to such services locally.
Peace Ark docked at the port of Honiara, Solomon Islands for the first time on Saturday morning and was warmly welcomed by the local populace. The ship will remain here for a week, offering free medical services to local residents.
The Chinese naval hospital ship, Peace Ark, is currently on the Harmonious Mission 2023, during which it plans to visit Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and East Timor.
The hospital ship is staffed by 126 medical professionals and has 26 clinical and 7 auxiliary departments. It can perform over 40 types of examinations, treatments, and surgeries in areas such as general surgery, orthopedics, obstetrics, and gynecology, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Peace Ark is the first standard ocean-going maritime hospital that China has designed and built independently. Since its inauguration in 2008, the hospital ship has visited 43 countries and regions, served more than 250,000 patients, and conducted over 1,500 surgeries on voyages spanning more than 260,000 nautical miles.